Is Food Intolerance Hindering My Weight Loss Goals?
The terms food allergy and food intolerance get tossed around like they're interchangeable, but there is a big difference between the two, especially when it comes to how foods are processed by our bodies.
Allergy vs. Intolerance
A food allergy is when you consume a food protein that your body mistakes as harmful and sends an abnormal immune system response that results in the body making antibodies to attack it. This can affect your entire body, not just your stomach and can sometimes be life threatening.
The eight main food allergens include dairy, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs. About 7 percent of children have a food allergy and will often “outgrow” it, while about 1 percent of adults are plagued with this condition. Food intolerance is much more common.
A food allergy can be triggered by consumption of the offending food or simply food particles in the air, such as peanuts on an airplane. Those with food allergies should avoid eating or coming in contact with that particular reactive food.
A food intolerance or sensitivity is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response and usually irritates or disrupts normal digestive functions.
Potential food sensitivities:
There’s no rhyme or reason for why certain foods may trigger one person and not the other. Each person may be sensitive to foods that aren’t even on the list of the most allergenic/intolerant foods. Therefore, it's important to keep a food journal to identify which foods could be causing your undesirable symptoms.
Lactose intolerance (the milk sugar found in dairy) is one of the most common food intolerances. Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy (approximately 10 percent of Americans). Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is becoming more widespread as well, however prevalence is unknown at this point.
Food intolerances are usually dose-related and symptoms may not fester unless you eat a large portion or eat the offending food frequently. However, this can be deceiving. While we may not see outward symptoms, internal distress could be at bay and the inflammation that arises puts you at risk for several inflammation-related disorders, including weight loss resistance and insulin resistance.
How can food intolerance affect weight?
Inflammation is the enemy in this case. If you keep eating a food that your body rejects, inflammation will persist, your symptoms will resurface, cravings for unhealthful foods will ensue, and your weight loss goals can come to a screeching halt. We're finding that even low-grade inflammation can keep your body in a state of stress, making it hard for you to lose belly fat.
“Leaky gut” is a fairly recent term introduced through the media, however the medical field has been aware of it for some time. When your intestinal walls remain inflamed due to continuous intake of foods that may be intolerable, tiny fissures open between the tightly woven cells making up the gut lining. These tiny holes allow bacteria and partially digested food molecules to slip out into the bloodstream, where they are considered foreign invaders. The body then goes into attack-mode. Over time, the body may react negatively to additional foods and continue the inflammation cascade and the ongoing struggle to lose weight.
How can NutriBullet LEAN help?
The NutriBullet LEAN 7-Day Transformation System will not leave you feeling deprived or hungry. Instead of these highly sensitive foods, we simply provide a LEAN-approved alternative that will satisfy you just the same. For example, instead of cow’s milk in your morning coffee or a smoothie, try unsweetened almond for coconut milk. Instead of eating a chicken sandwich, swap out the gluten-containing bread for a side of brown rice or quinoa and some grilled vegetables. Pasta noodles can easily be replaced with black bean or lentil noodles or even spaghetti squash. Same types of foods, just swapped out in place of those that are potential triggers. Who doesn’t love expanding their food repertoire?
LEAN omits the two main food intolerances gluten and dairy and does not overly encourage consumption of peanuts, eggs, shellfish, or soy during the 7-day cycle. It may sound like a lot of food has been taken away, but have no fear; there are several foods to fill the voids along with tasty recipes that incorporate these new foods in a nutritionally balanced way. By eliminating the worst offenders, it allows your body to “normalize”. In as little as 21 days, you may start to notice certain symptoms disappear such as headaches, brain fog, moodiness, sluggishness, gas, bloating, digestive distress, skin irritations, among others.
Once you enter the Maintenance Mode, a re-introduction phase outlines specifically how to “test” these specific foods to identify any potential food intolerance that may be the culprit in preventing you from meeting your weight loss goals.
If your body does not have a negative reaction to the food then you are free to keep it in your food arsenal, however we would suggest you test it out every so often as food intolerances can arise at any time. If you do notice anything abnormal (gas, bloating, headaches, foggy head, diarrhea, etc.) then that’s your clue to eliminate that food from your diet and consult with a nutrition professional to help you find alternative foods with similar nutritional profiles that you can replace the offending food with.
Be your own detective. By knowing which foods work with your body and which ones work against, you'll ready for overall health and weight loss success!